The Seminole Ranch, March 18th ,2014...TRIP |

The Seminole Ranch, March 18th ,2014...TRIP


Well-Known Member
Aug 25, 2003
Central , Florida
Let me explain what the rest of the guys did or thought as far as my poor old mind can figure them out.

The How and Where...........
To start with we were camping at the St johns Water Management area they call the Seminole Ranch Conservation area which is on the St Johns River.
The area is for anyone who enjoys camping and being near the river. There is a covered area for cooking and another area which has a three sided shelter on it and the surrounding area is grass surrounded with brush and trees.


Getting into it is a snap , just unlock the gate and drive right to the camp site , providing you got the combination to the property from the St Johns Water Management folks.
You contact them by computer and reserve the area for your use and about a week before the date you selected they contact you with the combination to the gate and a email letter of acceptance you print off to take with you to show that you have permission to be there and to protect you from any Trespassing Charges from Law Enforcement.

The Weather........and the guys. March 17th.
The day before the trip on the 17th of March we had a front march threw this area , it was a lot of rain , wind and tornado warnings which continued to the early morning hours of the 18th.

The 18th and at camp.
The 18th it was still raining but lightly and suppose to till around noon or thereabouts. We had the camp from 10:00 AM the 18th so I go there at 10:00 A.M. and put my 1st thing up when camping , The Tarp , in a light rain.
The rain did let up and finally stopped.
Mac arrived a little later on and sitting in the shelter we were wondering where the rest of the guys were. After a while Mac said he was going to go down to the gate and check on the guys and see if he could see where they were.
About 15 or 20 minutes later here they come a regular parade of vehicles and canoes coming into camp.
What happen was the combination lock on the gate is a cantankerous thing and if you do not have the numbers lined up right on the mark it will not open , to make matters more fun there are two combination locks and one key lock on the gate so you have to go from combination lock to combination lock and if it fights you the back and forth till you get it to open.
Yep you guessed it , they were lined up at the get working on the lock and trying to get it open.

Everyone is in the camp , we had , Harry , Ootter ( Harry's son ) , Ray , Van , Mac , Charlie ( Harry's Nephew ) Joe Fennell , Dapper Al ( Alvin Dasen ) and myself.

With the gang there were set up camp and settled in for the afternoon and evening. We had the normal very serious discussions that afternoon and evening , especially when all of us were sitting around the campfire just enjoying life. Needless to say we had plenty to eat and even some cold beverages.

The Wildlife..........
That same Coon that got in Mac's truck the last time we were there and made a raid on his Krispy Kreem Glazed Donuts was there looking for goodies again. He keep raiding the Collapsible trash can Van set up , That was some item , a large trash can that just folded out into a real one.
All of use would leave the fire one of two at a time to hit the sack and eventually all of us were snoring away while the coon keep to his appointed rounds , investigation and seeing what he cold get into. The trash container was raided several times during the night.
Later we found out he also manage to get into Ootters ice chest for a special treat of some good circle cut ham. which made Ootter quite happy after he stopped saying he was going to kill that little ^*((^%$# ham eating &*&$ and ice cooler raiding 8*&^$#@$.

The morning of the 19th..........

Before sunrise I woke up and looked at the tarp ( Rain fly ) and the West side of it was as bright as if the sun was shinning on it , I thought it was morning and the sun was coming up till I realized it was on the wrong side of the rain fly , the sun comes up in the East not the West or so I have been told. Back to sleep..........

Woke up when the sun was trying to shine and had the thought of some hot coffee and breakfast........Ootter and Charlie were already up and rekindled the fire for some heat , the weather was in the mid 50's and up to the 7upper 70'sduring the day.
What made Ootter so frustrated with the camp pet ( I called the coon the Camp Ground Host ) was that he and Charlie had a large sack of some good bakery buns ( Charlie got from his baker ) and planned on making a egg , ham and cheese roll/bun for everyone for breakfast. That Dam Coon ate all the HAM.

The rest of the gang got up and all the serious discussions started up over breakfast and coffee along with some nasty remarks about the Camp Grounds Host kitchen raiding skills and eating habits since it pigged out on the Ham , Our Breakfast Ham , No Less.

Harry brought two canoes and Mac brought his so the guys went canoeing and Mac tried his luck at fishing , The local Osprey caught more fish then Mac did threw out the day.
The day was spent just relaxing and doing what ever you wanted to do which included doing absolutely nothing.

That evening we had a nice sunset and again a good fire since the guy's brought a lot of firewood , Charlie in his truck and Van in his truck we had firewood and in fact had a really nice pile of it left over for who ever camps there after us . They will not be hurting for firewood in any form or fashion.

That Evening , all of us were around the fire just enjoying it and discussing all sorts of things but not necessary correcting the worlds problems , more like what would be the best boat for a extended fishing trip where you can camp on it , Home made naturally , the Pontoon design won out as far as the basic flotation and frame work to build on.

March 20th......
Up to a wet world , the dew made everything as wet as a rain could ever wish for , we just eased threw life till we realizes the gear was not really going to dry out in the shade , the sun was blocked by the trees so it was after breakfast and wet camp take down , but to be put back up at home to dry lout.

Put out the campfire with water from the pitcher pump , cleaned up the camp so it looked like no one had been there , said the farewells and left for out respective homes.

In Conclusion.........
With an overwhelming opinion and agreement everyone thought it was a great canoe trip , Easy to do and relaxing and one we need to do more often.
It's not that long of a drive for the guys the furthest from there , It's easy , just load your vehicle and drive in there , unload your boat at the water and set up camp , remember the camp chair so you can watch the sun set over the river and mash in the evening and then graduate to the fire for a BS Session.
We just chilled out , sat back and relaxed on this trip with very little work or exertion , it's called RELAXING. :D
OK now that you have an idea of what the trip was like for all of us , let me explain what I wanted to try out on a camping trip.

I tried some new stuff on this 3 day camping trip ... One was some new recipes and a way to cook without having a mess to clean up later on. Freezer Bag Cooking............

Day 1
Breakfast Rice.........
1/2 cup instant rice
1/2 cup powdered milk
1/2 cup chopped dried fruit ( ) , the Just fruit Salad , Pears, Apples , Peaches , Bananas , Strawberries and Red Grapes.
Small handful of chopped Pecans , can use Walnuts.
2 1/2 Tbsp Brown Sugar
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
Salt to taste
Combine everything in a zip lock quart freezer bag and in camp add one cup of boiling water to it , mix well and put in a cozy for 10 minutes to complete cooking. Eat from the bag and when done trash the bag and lick the spoon.

Day 2..
Trail Grits...........
3/4 cup instant grits ( 2 packs of instant ones )
1 Tbsp Bacon Bits
2 tsp Butter Powder ( can use the instant Butter Grits and then cheese powder )
1/4 tsp granulated garlic
1 or 2 Tbsp Powdered Cheese mix ( can use the Instant Cheese Grits and then butter powder )
Add one 1 cup boiling water and let the meal sit for 5 minutes in a cozy , then enjoy.

A back up Breakfast .
2 packs of Quaker Instant Oatmeal , Apple and Cinnamon ones.
2 Tbsp spoons of dry milk
2 Tbsp of dried fruit ....( ) , the Just fruit Salad , Pears, Apples , Peaches , Bananas , Strawberries and Red Grapes.
Add 1 cup boiling water and let it sit in the cozy for 5 minutes , then enjoy.

Supper........... ( I took there basic recipe and added thing's I like , to it )
1 cup instant rice.
2 Tbsp cheese powder
2 Tbsp powdered milk
1 Tbsp dried Onion
pinch of granulated Garlic ( this stuff is strong )
1/2 tsp dried Parsley
pinch of salt and pepper
1/4 tsp of dried Red Pepper Flakes ( this stuff is hot )
1 pack of Sweet Sue Chicken Pieces.
Add 1 cup of boiling water to the mix , mix well and put in a cozy for 10 to 12 minutes then enjoy.

Supper ........
Mountain House Beef Stroganoff with noodles.

I located the Just Fruit Salad and some of the other ones they make at Chamberlains and all the rest from the Grocery Store , most from the Spices Section.

Also tried a new toy I got , A new Hammock.
It's from a cottage ( Family Owned ) industry in the foothills of Colorado , , and is the Blackbird , Double layer 1.7 .
Color: Olive green
Weight capacity: 400 Lbs
Item weight (webbing/buckles): 2 lb. 2oz.
Item weight (whoopies): 1lb 15oz.
Fabric: 1.7oz/70D Nylon (x2)

The hammock is very comfortable , you sleep on a slight angle with your feet in the foot pocket which has your feet , legs , and rear end in a straight line , then you can move around to have your upper portion on a slight raised angle which I enjoy and like to sleep at. If you get on your side then you can be as flat as a pancake. :wink:
The hammock does NOT come with a rain fly so you have to purchase the tarp of your dreams and use it if you do not already have one.

The closest thing I can associate it with is if you sleep on an angle in the ENO hammock and have your feet on extreme one side of the hammock and not in the center of the hammock. It's about like that but more so since it was designed to have that foot area lower then the hammock body.
Skip the foot pocket and sleep with your feet and legs in the center line and you are in a normal hammock with your feet about head height.


Well-Known Member
Feb 7, 2007
jesup, ga.
chuck sounds like yal had a good time and the extra company. (bandit) :lol: :mrgreen: wish I could been there too. :( would like too see some more pics :?: :shock:


Well-Known Member
Aug 25, 2003
Central , Florida
Catfish........ No camera with me , those are some pictures from the river districts web site.

Bob..... Getting there and closer to better every day. The physical thing ( important stuff ) is no problem but the mending of the Sternum is what holds me back , not healed all the way , can still feel the bone moving at times. As I told the Doc , you did a good job repairing the motor and fuel lines but you sure goofed up on the garage door. :lol: